The American Optometric Association performed a survey that showed that the majority of people valued their eyesight more than they value their memory and their ability to walk. Even though people value their vision, every day they make decisions that compromise the health of their eyes.
To function in modern society, a person must look at a screen. Screens go far beyond laptops and desktop computers. They are essential part of tablets, MP3 players, and smart phones. Add to that the screens an individual encounters when they are purchasing an item at a restaurant, looking for their flight at an airport, or navigating around the airport and it is easy to see how according to the Council for Research Excellence the average individual spends more than nine hours on a daily basis looking at a screen. All of this is damaging to our eyes.
According to the State University of New York College of Optometry, people are holding screens closer to their eyes than they would printed material. The closer you hold the screen to your eyes, the harder your eyes have to work to maintain focus. Researchers concluded that a screen should be held 16 inches away from a person’s face to minimize eyestrain. However, most people hold their smart phone from between 7 to 14 inches away from their eyes.
Blinking is something that people do automatically about 20 times every minute. However, when a person is viewing a screen, their blink rate drops to about 10 times a minute. If humans do not blink enough, their cornea becomes dry and irritated.
In order to protect their vision, it is recommended that a person who is looking at a screen for extended periods of time turn away every 20 minutes or so for approximately 20 seconds so that they give their eyes times to relax and they can moisturize their eyes by blinking.
Omega-3 acids are known to be good for the heart and brain. However, what some people do not realize is that they also reduce the risk of eye disease. According to one study in the Archives of Ophthalmology, women who ate dark fish on a weekly basis reduce their risk for eye disease by 42 percent when compared to those who only ate fish once a month. Fish oils have antioxidants that prevent free radicals from accumulating in the body that can lead to eye disease.
There are many other things that a person can do to protect their eyes. For example, wearing sunglasses on a bright day, eating green vegetables, including green tea in the diet, regularly scheduling eye exams from the Optometrists Clinic Inc, using protective lenses at work, and frequently replacing old eye make up with new makeup can help to protect vision.
As humans, we only get one set of eyes. They help us explore and define our place in the world. Therefore, it is worthwhile to take small steps to protect the most important sense we have.
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Samantha Stainsburry is a freelance blogger from Charlottesville, VA. She's a major history buff, and loves living in Thomas Jefferson's hometown. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and finding new music among other things. Her personal ambition is beat to Ken Jennings' Jeopardy record with her vast trivia knowledge.